As a key part of our strategy, our Social Science and Agribusiness directive focuses on sharing the information gathered during research, and using it strategically in the creation of agricultural policies and in making socioeconomic and business decisions. In line with TRIDI’s philosophy of unhindered access to knowledge generated through our research, people can use our discoveries to improve their livelihoods.

TRIDI is keen in institutional capacity building whose purpose is to improve the livelihoods of the resource poor rural households through empowerment. The program attempts to strengthen the ability of the groups to manage both enterprises that help to ensure their food and nutritional security, and also to increase household incomes. The program provides TRIDI a tool that addresses participatory needs assessment, training and institution building in rural communities. The individuals are mobilized into groups and the planning is done in a participatory manner both at group level and at sub-county level. At the sub-county level the group representatives are involved in the planning.

We work on enhancing nutritional quality of food products along the crop value chains, breeding for more nutritious crops, promoting health platforms, reducing occupational and health hazards, and improving water quality. We also develop and disseminate research for development (R4D) outputs that promote commercialization of agricultural products, stimulate effective private–public partnerships, and reduce the tedium and drudgery of field labor, especially among women, children, and the elderly.

Improving lives

By focusing on turning farming activities into viable business operations TRIDI is giving people the tools they need to generate a sustainable income from agriculture.

Getting women and youths into agriculture is a key focus in much of our research-for-development activities. Improving livelihoods means that the agricultural sector will continue to grow across sub-Saharan Africa, and that farmers and rural communities can benefit from greater food security and a stronger economy.

Encouraging women and youths into agriculture is the final part of improving livelihoods. Youths and women are often underrepresented in the agricultural sector. Creating pathways for these groups into agriculture reduces unemployment by utilizing more of the region’s productive workforce. It also leads to greater innovation and creativity, and allows women especially to be more independent.

Improving livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa is IITA’s biggest priority. It is where the research meets the real world. Our Social Science and Agribusiness initiatives have a wide-reaching impact that enables us to put our biggest breakthroughs into use and see how they shape policy, production, and people’s lives.

Conducive policies and institutional support are necessary for smallholder producers to increase their income through better access to markets. We undertake gender-responsive research, and look at poverty reduction strategies and policy frameworks to ensure the impact of our research.

Gender: TRIDI ensure that the various gender needs of the cleints are considered during the planning. The participation of both women and men is a key during the planning process and because of the existing gender imbalances, the women, youth, elderly and PWDs are given special focus where necessary. Throughout the activity implementation, it is ensured that specific gender issues that have an impact on the development interventions are addressed. This is achieved through developing gender checklists for the processes involved in planning.

HIV/AIDS: TRIDI have in collaboration with different institutions developed four basic strategies for integrating HIV/AIDS into NAADS and they include:

 Incorporating HIV/AIDS issues in the sensitizations and trainings

 Ensuring that farmer groups are inclusive and not stigmatizing HIV/AIDS affected households and people living with HIV/AIDS

 Encourage interdisplinary collaboration and partnership

 Develop and incorporation of HIV/AIDS related indicators in the monitoring and evaluation framework.